here - OpenSystems Media

p. 6Editor’s Foreword
Autonomous system
p. 8VITA News
Pacific Pivot
and OpenVPX
Orbit Power Group broke through the VPX power
ceiling with the Behlman 1000-watt DC-to-DC,
VPXtra™ Power Supply. Today, Behlman also offers
a 700-watt, multiple-output, DC-to-DC VPXtra™
Power Supply, and a 1500-watt AC-to-DC VPXtra™
Power Supply. Behlman also provides a wide
range of VME power supplies used in airborne,
ground mobile, naval and industrial applications,
as well as broad line of modified standard, custom
and COTS power supplies (frequency converters,
inverters, AC, DC-DC, AC-DC, DC-AC, and UPS).
See them at
Orbit HMC-A System Health Monitor
Orbit Electronics Group’s Integrated Combat
Systems (ICS), a global leader in designing and
building advanced electro-mechanical assemblies, is
now a supplier of choice for VME-VPX. Their website, is your portal for more than 135
standard and custom-designed VME-VPX products,
including backplanes, system health monitors, power
supplies, sensors, card cages, components, and
air transport racks.
Together, Orbit Power Group and Orbit Electronics Group provide an
unmatched range of superior options and cost-effective solutions.
80 Cabot Court • Hauppauge, NY 11788 USA
TEL: +1 631 435-0410 •
Behlman Electronics and
Integrated Combat Systems
are subsidiaries of Orbit International.
Open VPX is a trademark of VITA.
VPXtra is a trademark
of Behlman.
401 Industry Road, Suite 600 • Louisville, KY 40208
TEL: +1 866 319-8085 •
On the cover
The Fall issue of VITA Technologies magazine features columns
from Mercury Systems and VadaTech and contributed articles from
Pigeon Point Systems and Elma Electronic. Topics covered in this
issue include reliability prediction methods, interoperability of
VITA 46.11, chassis management for VPX systems, and more.
6 Editor’s Foreword Jerry Gipper
Autonomous system scenarios
»» p. 12
Choice of reliability
prediction methods
By Jerry Gipper
8 VITA News John Bratton
Pacific Pivot focus accelerates demand for OpenVPX
server-class embedded processing
10 Defining Standards Justin Moll
FMCs provide versatility and modularity across
multiple platforms
23 Primetime Choices Validating the interoperability
of VITA 46.11-based system
management elements
»» p. 16
By Mark Overgaard,
Pigeon Point Systems
Advertiser Index
Chassis management for VPX systems
By Gary Hanson,
Elma Electronic
»» p. 20
Annapolis Micro Systems, Inc. – WILDSTAR OpenVPX ecosystem
Creative Electronic Systems – Powerful video solutions from CES
Dawn VME Products, Inc. – You need it right. You want Dawn.
Elma Electronic – Reliable. Rugged. Has to work. Elma’s VPX platforms are all that –
and more
Excalibur Systems, Inc. –
Highland Technology, Inc. – Long term commitment to VME
Interface Concept – Intel Core i7, VPX FPGA boards
LCR Embedded Systems – Rugged systems engineered for your application
North Atlantic Industries – Rugged SBCs from NAI
North Atlantic Industries – 3U cPCI SBCs
Orbit Power Group and Orbit Electronics Group – Building the world’s most powerful
VME-VPX resource
Pentek, Inc. – Got tough software radio design challenges? Unleash the new Virtex-7
Onyx boards!
Vector Electronics & Technology, Inc. – VME, VXS, cPCI chassis, backplanes, and
VEROTEC Electronics Packaging – Pluggable PSUs and fan trays
All registered brands and trademarks within VITA Technologies magazine are the property of their respective owners.
™VPX and its logo is a registered product/trademark of VITA.
© 2014 OpenSystems Media © 2014 VITA Technologies
enviroink.indd 1
4 | VITA Technologies Fall 2014 10/1/08 10:44:38 AM
Do more
Multi-function I/O
Single Board Computers
Rugged Power Supplies
Rugged Systems
Benchtop & VXI Instruments
Made in USA
A certified small business
Spend less
Reduce SWaP
Deploy faster
Spend less time and money designing with NAI’s 3U and 6U COTS SBCs.
NAI’s configurable Custom-On-Standard Architecture™ (COSA™) delivers
smarter systems that simplify system integration, with less weight, less
program risk and no NRE — so you can deploy faster.
Choose your processor board and 2-6 Intelligent I/O, communications or Ethernet
switch functions. NAI will quickly assemble and configure the exact solution you
need. Ideally suited for rugged Mil-Aero applications, NAI delivers off-the-shelf
solutions for SWaP-constrained systems in air, land and sea applications.
Freescale™ QorIQ P2041
Intel® Core™ i7
Intel® Atom™
ARM Cortex™-A9
North Atlantic
I n d u s t r i e s i i . c om
Editor’s Foreword
By Jerry Gipper, Editorial Director
Autonomous system scenarios
Being from rural northeast Iowa, I am
always excited when I see computer
technology news from the area. Known
more for its agriculture than its computer
technology, news related to the latter
is, at best, very infrequent. Imagine my
excitement the other day when I saw
technology news that additionally has
potential impact on the world of VITA
A June 25th press release from Rockwell
Collins and the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) announced
that they had scheduled joint risk reduction tests that will eventually enable
unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to
safely operate in our national airspace.
The release was inviting the media to
attend but unfortunately I received the
release a couple of weeks too late.
The testing, completed in late June,
was focused on testing a data link waveform and the ability of a single tower to
communicate to multiple aircraft. The
waveform will eventually be released as
a public resource to help the industry
and the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) develop an appropriate set of
rules and requirements for unmanned
operations in the national airspace
system. This testing was part of the
research project’s first phase.
“The number of active UASs is only
going to grow in the future,” said Alex
Postnikov, a principal engineering manager in the Advanced Technology Center
(ATC) at Rockwell Collins. “Rockwell
Collins and NASA are in an exciting position to ensure there is a safe and secure
communications link between the pilot
on the ground and the unmanned aircraft in the air.”
“We tested at different altitudes, differ­ent
frequencies, and through different modes
6 | VITA Technologies Fall 2014 of operation,” said John Moore, principal systems engineer for Rockwell Collins. “We
wanted to see if the system operated as we expected it to. We’re happy to say things
went very well.” Moore added that Rockwell Collins will participate in research and
testing through 2016. The goal is for the FAA to issue a technical standard order for
UASs by 2017.
Unmanned air and ground vehicles are quickly becoming a normal part of our everyday
lives. Besides all of the airborne vehicles we hear so much about, there are the efforts
by the likes of Google with demonstrations of driverless automobiles. States are now
starting to look into revising rules of the road or they are already passing legislation to
manage the integration of unmanned vehicles into the open road.
All kinds of scenarios for driverless aircraft and automobiles are emerging, from Amazon
package delivery with drones to the FBI warning that driverless cars could be hacked to
become lethal weapons by criminals. I am sure new, innovative use models will emerge,
some of them useful, others not so much.
The day of unmanned aircraft is already here, and autonomous automobiles and trucks
are not too far away. The safety benefits of removing or minimizing the human element
and replacing it with technology will far outweigh the disadvantages. The biggest
obstacles will be in dealing with the fears and concerns that humans have in letting
technology have control of the vehicles. Not only will vehicles become smarter, but
the road and infrastructure must also evolve to become more intelligent, making the
entire system more reliable and efficient. It is going to take many years to build out the
infrastructure but the end product is sure to improve efficiency and safety by removing
much of the human factors that lead to accidents.
These tests are important to our industry because many VITA technology suppliers target
the UAS industry. VPX is especially suited to these systems – either airborne or groundbased systems. The tests that Rockwell Collins and NASA are conducting will help to
open the market for many more platforms outside of the typical military applications. VPX
is well-positioned to capture a number of new design wins as the market applications
grow. Small form factor (SFF) VPX has opportunity in larger rugged vehicles as well as in
the infrastructure for the intelligent highway where rugged SFFs are needed.
I expect to see more news on this from Iowa in the not-too-distant future when
John Deere eventually announces a line of autonomous tractors. They have early
technology in the fields now so I will keep my eye open for my first UTS – Unmanned
Tractor System!
Jerry Gipper,
VITA Technologies Editorial/Production Staff
Jerry Gipper, Editorial Director
Amanda Harvey, Assistant Editor
Steph Sweet, Creative Director
John McHale, Group Editorial Director
Sales Group
Tom Varcie, Sales Manager
(586) 415-6500
Rebecca Barker, Strategic Account Manager
(281) 724-8021
Eric Henry, Strategic Account Manager
(541) 760-5361
Kathleen Wackowski
Strategic Account Manager
(978) 888-7367
Asia-Pacific Sales
Elvi Lee, Account Manager
Regional Sales Managers
Barbara Quinlan, Southwest
(480) 236-8818
Denis Seger, Southern California
(760) 518-5222
Sydele Starr, Northern California
(775) 299-4148
Europe Sales
James Rhoades-Brown
Reprints and PDFs
OpenSystems Media Editorial/Creative Staff
John McHale
Group Editorial Director
Military Embedded Systems
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
PICMG Systems & Technology
VITA Technologies
Rich Nass
Embedded Computing Brand Director
Embedded Computing Design
Joe Pavlat, Editorial Director
PICMG Systems & Technology
Curt Schwaderer, Editorial Director
Embedded Computing Design
Monique DeVoe, Managing Editor
Embedded Computing Design
Christine Long, DIY Brand Manager
Joy Gilmore, Assistant Webcast Manager
Brandon Lewis, Assistant Managing Editor
Embedded Computing Design
Industrial Embedded Systems
PICMG Systems & Technology
Lisa Daigle, Assistant Managing Editor
Military Embedded Systems
PC/104 and Small Form Factors
Sally Cole, Senior Editor
Military Embedded Systems
Rory Dear, Technical Contributor
Embedded Computing Design
Konrad Witte, Senior Web Developer
Dave Diomede, Creative Services Director
Joann Toth, Senior Designer
Jake Rojas, Graphic Designer
Patrick Hopper, Publisher
Rosemary Kristoff, President
John McHale, Executive Vice President
Rich Nass, Executive Vice President
Christine Long, Vice President Online Business
Wayne Kristoff, CTO
Emily Verhoeks, Financial Assistant
Headquarters – ARIZONA:
16626 E. Avenue of the Fountains, Ste. 201
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
Tel: (480) 967-5581
30233 Jefferson
St. Clair Shores, MI 48082
Tel: (586) 415-6500
COSATM Architecture
Processor of Choice
Up to 3 Function Modules
Select from 40+ Functions
Configure to Customize
NAI’s 3U cPCI SBCs are ideally
suited for rugged Mil-Aero air,
land and sea applications. Built
with COSA Technology, they
provide the highest packaging
density and greatest flexibility
of any 3U SBC in the industry.
Freescale™ QorIQ P2041,
Intel® Core™ i7, Intel® Atom™
ARM Cortex™-A9
Wind River® Linux,
VxWorks®, Xilinx® PetaLinux,
Windows® Embedded
Standard 7
Accelerate Your
ISSN: Print 1941-3807, ISSN Online 1550-0403
VITA Technologies is published four times a year (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) by OpenSystems Media, 16626 E. Ave of the Fountains, Ste 201,
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268. VITA Technologies is free to qualified engineers or management dealing with or considering open-system technologies.
For others, paid subscription rates inside the US and Canada are $45/year. For first-class delivery outside the US and Canada, subscriptions are
$60/year (advance payment in US funds required). Periodicals postage paid at Scottsdale, AZ, and at additional mailing offices.
Canada: Publication agreement number 40048627. Return address WDS, Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 615
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to VITA Technologies, 16626 E. Avenue of the Fountains, Ste. 201, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.
North IAtlantic
n d u s t r i e s i i . c om
A certified small business
VITA Technologies Fall 2014 |
NA1023R1 1/3 SBC Ad .indd 1
5/22/14 9:57 AM
By John Bratton
Pacific Pivot focus accelerates demand for
OpenVPX server-class embedded processing
Over the past several years, the Obama
administration has indicated it would
be changing focus from the Middle
East and rebalance, or pivot, toward
the Pacific. This “Pacific Pivot” regional
strategy will require new roles and missions in “more contested” environments,
which means that airborne intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR)
platforms will be required to operate
differently than they have before. In
previous Middle East-based conflicts,
adversaries typically lacked aircraft and
air defenses, allowing us the freedom
of deploying ISR platforms in theatre
virtually unchallenged. However, as we
shift towards the Pacific, these platforms
will need to operate at much higher altitudes, for longer periods, and at much
greater stand-off distances. They will
also need better and more sophisticated
sensors than are available today. Finally,
as we’ve seen over the past decade,
onboard exploitation or the transformation of vast quantities of data into
actionable intelligence in real-time will
remain a critical need. This will require
more compute or intelligence onboard
the platforms so that they can operate
more autonomously. Size, weight, and
power (SWaP) optimization is critical,
as more is demanded from the same
size, weight, and power budget. Open
architecture-based solutions will be necessary to speed innovation and reduce
development costs.
Ever since former U.S. Defense
Secretary William Perry announced the
commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) initiative in 1994, the pursuit of commercialitem leverage has been underway. The
best commercial technology, when
expertly adapted for military applications, delivers sophisticated solutions
VCP-2864 - Video Frame Grabber
The latest video solution from CES features a frame grabber
with multiple video interfaces connected to a flexible
Kintex™-7 FPGA in a compact rugged
3U OpenVPX™ form-factor. Combined
with the CES VCP-8166 H.264
compression / decompression XMC,
it provides a comprehensive solution for
video capture and coding in the embedded avionic and defense markets.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, CES - Creative Electronic Systems SA has been
designing and manufacturing complex high-performance avionic, defense and communication boards, subsystems and complete systems for thirty years (such as ground and flight
test computers, ground station subsystems, radar subsystems, mission computers, DAL A
certified computers, video platforms, as well as test and support equipment). CES is
involved in the most advanced aerospace and defense programs throughout Europe and
the US, and delivers innovative solutions worldwide.
For more information:
8 | VITA Technologies Fall 2014
and often dominates whole technology
genres. Commercial LCD displays, cell
phones, and laptops are examples.
When properly architected and packaged for military applications, commercial technology such as CPUs, GPGPUs,
and FPGAs have provided huge benefits for delivering rugged, embedded
computing subsystems to power sensor
platforms. Increasingly, Intel Xeon serverclass multicore CPU engines are making
inroads to on-platform ISR applications
such as radar, EO/IR, and EW, especially
as applied to aging platform modernizations, where onboard compute capability is so vital and SWaP and packaging
requirements are so challenging.
One example of successfully bringing the
highest performing commercial enterprise server technology to embedded
computing subsystems can be found in
Mercury Systems’ Intel Xeon server-class
OpenVPX-compliant sensor processing
solutions. Mercury’s ability to leverage
server-class processor technologies,
package them so that they are highly
reliable in demanding operational
environments, and efficiently integrate
them with other sensor chain functional elements is well known. The result is a wellengineered, operationally balanced subsystem that can make maximum use of serverclass compute engines in modern defense subsystems. These types of subsystems
must demonstrate a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) while delivering balanced,
yet massive compute capability, affordably, with the lowest program/technology risk.
Server-class processing modules generate a lot of heat, and thus require innovative
cooling and packaging while maintaining open architecture, standards-based compliance. In the Mercury example, the Xeon CPU and memory devices are directly
attached to their respective printed circuit boards (PCBs) to reduce volume and ensure
thermal efficiencies. Mercury’s VITA 48.1-compliant Air Flow-by implementations provide some of the industry’s most efficient air-cooling technology, which the company
applies to all of their server-class module offerings. As ISR missions in Afghanistan
and Iraq transition to higher-altitude, longer dwell missions in the Pacific, even more
robust cooling methods will be required to ensure SWaP envelopes are not exceeded.
In response to this demand, Mercury recently augmented its Xeon server-class ecosystem with innovative Liquid Flow-by cooling. Liquid Flow-by cooling techniques
provide an efficient and elegant solution to high-altitude cooling challenges by
using the platform’s own fuel or a dedicated coolant source with which to cool the
on-platform compute resources, while maintaining open standards-based compatibility. Multiple cooling options provide choices for myriad application needs.
The Pacific Pivot is only the latest regional strategy to emerge as global dynamics
and potential threats continue to develop. As new challenges like changing roles and
missions in less permissive environments arise, ISR subsystem providers like Mercury
continue to stay ahead of the curve, adapting commercial-item technology to solve
complex embedded computing challenges.
John Bratton • Product and Solutions Marketing Specialist • Mercury Systems, Inc.
VITA Technologies Fall 2014 |
Defining Standards
By Justin Moll
FMCs provide versatility and modularity
across multiple platforms
The VITA 57 specification defining the
FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) has been
adopted since 2008. Today FMCs are
commonly used in architectures from
VPX to CompactPCI to MicroTCA and
more. The versatility of the mezzanine
approach allows a broad swath of acceptance in various applications.
FMCs are being used as I/O devices in
all types of configurations. Since it’s an
open standard, an engineer can choose
the FMC that works for them among
dozens of vendors. The FMCs are also
used for data conversion, RF interfaces,
clock generators, and other specialty
purposes. An FMC for ADC is compelling in mil/aero and physics applications.
They can be used across multiple subsets of the application, with the flexibility
of being changed for unique requirements of an experiment or for specific
The mezzanine approach of FMCs also
makes it attractive in many mil/aero and
research applications. The modularity
of the FMCs provides a cost-effective
and easy upgrade path. The FMC can
simply be swapped for the interface
that meets the performance level. For
example, a 1.25 GSPS 10-bit FMC can
be upgraded for a 2.5 GSPS version. This
is achieved without having to replace
the entire FPGA, and without any hardware redesign. Similarly, another advantage of FMCs is the ability to shift I/O
options. For example, an FMC with
dual RJ-45s (Gig E) can be upgraded
to a dual QSFP+ for higher data rates.
See Figure 1 for a photo of an RJ-45
Gig E FMC, an SFP+ 10 GbE FMC, and
a QSFP+ 40 GbE FMC. Of course, the
FPGA carrier where it resides must have
the appropriate level of performance
as well.
10 | VITA Technologies Fall 2014 ›
Figure 1 | FMC group photo, from left to right: RJ-45 Gig E FMC; SFP+ 10 GbE FMC; and
Figure 2 | The Kintex-7 FPGA includes an interconnection for an FMC per VITA 57.
As a VITA standard, one might think of FMCs for VITA form factors such as VME and
VPX. However, FMCs are widely used in MicroTCA as well. Figure 2 shows a Kintex-7
FPGA with the interconnection for an FMC per VITA 57. The FMC allows a wide
range of ADC and I/O options while the FPGA processor, separate P2040 QorIQ for
distributed processing, and DDR3 memory reside on the AMC. Another option for a
design is choosing between the wide range of Xilinx- and Altera-based FPGAs. This
is typically just a matter of the skill set of the customer’s engineering team. Both companies are moving to system on chip (SoC)-style designs that are very efficient, such
as Xilinx’s Zynq. It has a nice integration between the CPU and the FPGA, making
a designer’s task a little easier. The dual-core ARM processor provides a smooth
development path.
The versatility of FMCs is very beneficial for many applications. They provide a costeffective and efficient upgrade path for FPGA requirements.
Justin Moll
Director of Marketing • VadaTech
Choice of reliability
prediction methods
By Jerry Gipper, Editorial Director
The role of a reliability engineer is unbearably difficult in today’s age of electronic components, especially when it comes to
making solid predictions on component and system failure rates. Over time, reliability has increased but at the same time, many
of the tools used to make predictions have decreased in capability. Efforts by VITA members have reversed the deficiency in
many of the tools.
Since the day of the very first computer, there were failures.
Components burned out, circuits shorted or opened, solder
joints failed, pins were bent, and metals reacted with each
other. These and countless other failure methods plagued the
computer industry from the very first circuit to today. Learning
how to compensate for failure, understanding failure mechanisms, and how to predict computer failure has become a full
profession in itself.
Failure rate predictions are utilized by logistics, systems, and
reliability engineers for a myriad of purposes, including reliability analysis, cost trade studies, availability analysis, spares
planning, redundancy modeling, scheduled maintenance planning, product warrantees, and guarantees.
Reliability predictions are very important to the management of
a product life cycle. These predictions are necessary for many
reasons, such as:
• Help assess the effect of product reliability on the
maintenance activity and on the quantity of spare units
required for acceptable field performance of any particular
system. Reliability prediction can be used to establish the
12 | VITA Technologies Fall 2014 •
number of spares needed and predict the frequency of
expected unit level maintenance.
Provide necessary input to system-level reliability models.
System-level reliability models can be used to predict
frequency of system outages in steady-state, frequency of
system outages during early life, expected downtime per
year, and system availability.
Provide necessary input to unit and system-level life
cycle cost analyses. Life cycle cost studies determine the
cost of a product over its entire life. This includes how
often units and systems fail during the first year of
operation as well as in later years, helping to establish
total life cycle cost estimates.
Assist in deciding which product to purchase from a list
of competing products. As a result, it is essential that
reliability predictions be based on a common procedure.
Given that everything else is equal, reliability predictions
can be a deciding factor.
Can be used to set factory test standards for
products requiring a reliability test. Reliability predictions
help determine how often the system should fail, making
it possible to determine if adequate testing is being
• Are needed as input to the analysis of complex
systems such as weapon systems and complex control
systems. It is necessary to know how often different
parts of the system are going to fail even for redundant
• Can be used in design trade-off studies. For example,
a supplier could look at a design with many simple devices
and compare it to a design with fewer devices that are
newer but more complex. The unit with fewer devices is
usually more reliable.
• Can be used to set achievable in-service performance
standards against which to judge actual performance and
stimulate action. Feedback can then be used to adjust
testing procedures.
Reliability prediction methods
Accurate prediction of the reliability of electronic products
requires knowledge of the components, the design, the manufacturing process, and the expected operating conditions. Once
the prototype of a product is available, lab tests can then be
utilized to obtain more accurate reliability predictions. Several
different approaches have been developed to predict the reliability of electronic systems and components. Each approach
has its unique advantages and disadvantages. Among these
approaches, three main categories are often used within government and industry: empirical (standards based), physics of
failure, and life testing.
Prediction Method
Applied Industry
MIL-HDBK-217F and Notice 1 and 2
IEC 62380 (RDF 2000)
SAE Reliability Prediction Method
Table 1 | Empirical prediction methods in common use.
Empirical prediction methods are based on models developed
from statistical curve fitting of historical failure data, which may
have been collected in the field, in-house, or from manufacturers. These methods tend to present good estimates of reliability for similar or slightly modified parts. Some parameters
in the curve function can be modified by integrating existing
engineering knowledge. The assumption is made that system
or equipment failure causes are inherently linked to components whose failures are independent of each other. There are
many different empirical methods that have been created for
specific applications. Table 1 lists some of the commonly used
prediction standards.
A physics of failure (PoF) approach is based on the understanding of the failure mechanism and applying the physics of
failure model to the data. PoF analysis is a methodology of
Long Term Commitment To VME
Isolated digital input
Cabled PCI express
Resistance measurement
Ethernet / USB
Analog and digital / Relay I/O
Precision analog
Arbitrary waveforms
Synchro/ Resolver / LVDT
Rotating machine simulation
Tachometer / Overspeed
Thermocouple / RTD / Cryo
Synchro / Resolver / LVDT
Wide range source-measurement
Thermocouple Simulation
Voltage and 4-20 mA I/O
VITA Technologies Fall 2014 |
identifying and characterizing the physical processes and mechanisms that cause failures in electronic components. Computer
models integrating deterministic formulas from physics and
chemistry are the foundation of PoF.
With the life testing method, a test is conducted on a sufficiently large sample of units operating under normal usage
conditions. Times-to-failure are recorded and then analyzed
with an appropriate statistical distribution in order to estimate
reliability metrics. Operating conditions are often accelerated
and amplified to compress lifetime wear and tear into a manageable test time measured in days or weeks. This testing is
often called Life Data Analysis, Weibull Analysis, or Highly
Accelerated Life Test (HALT). Some time-to-failure data from
life testing may be incorporated into some of the empirical prediction standards (i.e.: Bellcore/Telcordia Method II) and may
also be necessary to estimate the parameters for some of the
physics of failure models.
Failure of the methods
The old methods of predicting reliability in electronics have
begun to fail us. MIL-HDBK-217 has been the cornerstone
of reliability prediction for decades. But MIL-HDBK-217 is
­rapidly becoming irrelevant and unreliable as we venture
into the realm of nanometer geometry semiconductors and
their failure modes. The uncertainty of the future of long established methods has many in the industry seeking alternative
Pluggable PSUs and fan trays
On the component supplier side of the equation, ­semiconductor
suppliers were seeing such increases in component reliability
and operational lifetimes that they slowly began dropping
MIL-STD-883B testing and nearly all have dropped their
lines of mil-spec parts. Instead they have moved their focus
to c­ ommercial-grade parts where the unit volumes are much
higher. The purchasing power of the military markets has
become insignificant to the point where there is no longer any
leverage. Instead, system builders took the commercial-grade
devices, sent them out to testing labs, and found that a large
majority of them would, in fact, operate reliably at extended
temperature ranges and environmental conditions. Field data
gleaned over the years has improved much of the empirical
data of complex algorithms for reliability prediction.
A new set of problems have arisen with smaller die geometries.
Previous semiconductor generations were showing operational
lifetimes of 10-15 years or more. However, empirical evidence
is now showing that nm-geometry integrated circuits (ICs) are
wearing out in just 3-5 years. The small geometry parts are plain
wearing out faster, and the commercial users really don’t care.
They would rather see consumers replace their smart devices
every two or three years so the shorter life cycles play into their
product strategies. However, with multi-billion dollar weapons
platforms, those life cycles just don’t fit the model.
Reliability Community to the rescue
PICMG 2.11 compliant for cPCI systems
Autoranging AC - DC
200 - 500W
General purpose
20 - 240W, 1 - 4 outputs
AC - DC and DC -DC
1U 19” fan trays
Intelligent, ltered
and standard versions
3 and 6 fan versions
12/24 and 48VDC
Continuing 50 years of excellence in pluggable PSUs and enclosure thermal
management for cPCI, VME, VME64x, VPX and other major bus structures
Ph: 603.821.9921 • •
14 | VITA Technologies Fall 2014 Several years ago VITA members saw the need for improving
the consistency and traceability of reliability prediction (MTBF)
data for electronic devices used in defense and aerospace
The Reliability Community working group was formed to investigate and develop industry standards to address electronics
failure rate prediction and assessment.
The community is comprised of representatives from electronics
suppliers, system integrators, and the Department of Defense
(DoD). The majority of the work is driven by the user community
that depends so heavily on solid reliability data. BAE Systems,
Bechtel, Boeing, General Dynamics, Harris, Lockheed Martin,
Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon are some of the
demand-side contributors to the work done by the Reliability
Community. These members have developed community of
practice documents that define electronics failure rate prediction methodologies and standards. The efforts have produced
a series of documents that have been ANSI and VITA ratified.
Where applicable, these standards provide adjustment factors
to existing standards.
Roadmap of Reliability Specifications
Reliability Predictions
VITA 51.0
ANSI/VITA 51.2 PoF Reliability Predictions defines standard
methods for using physics of failure in reliability prediction.
Qualification & ESS
VITA 51.3
Modified MIL-HDBK-217F
Notice 2
Physics of Failure
VITA 51.1
VITA 51.2
Application Notes
ANSI/VITA 51.3 Qualification and Environmental Stress
Screening in Support of Reliability Predictions provides information on how qualification levels and environmental stress
screening (ESS) influences reliability.
Current status
Future Specifications
ANSI/VITA 51.0 Reliability Prediction and its subsidiary specification – ANSI/VITA 51.1 Reliability Prediction: MIL-HDBK-217 –
define consistency and repeatability for mean time between
failure (MTBF) calculations (see Figure 1). The intention is to
supplement MIL-HDBK-217.
Figure 1 | Current roadmap of VITA 51 Reliability specifications.
The Reliability Community addresses the limitations of existing
prediction practices, with a series of subsidiary specifications
that contain the “best practices” within industry for perform­ing electronics failure rate predictions. The members recognize that there are many industry reliability methods, each
with a custodian and acceptable practices to calculate electronics failure rate predictions. If such a method is identified as
requiring additional standards for use by electronics module
suppliers, a new subsidiary specification will be considered by
the working group.
Work continues in all of these specifications. Adjustments have
to be made for new components and new thinking on failures.
As new electronics technology is developed, new methods will
be developed, documented, and added to future releases of
these standards and subsidiary specifications.
The VITA Reliability Community invites participation in both
the development and implementation of the documents.
The Reliability Community maintains a LinkedIn group, which
is open to anyone with an interest in reliability predictions:
For more information or to get involved in development of
these specifications, visit
LCR Embedded System’s complete line of integrated rugged
industrial and military systems, from off-the-shelf to fully
customized, are ideal for all aspects of mission-critical
computing. To learn more about what we can do for you
and your application, contact us today.
Our integrated systems feature VME, VPX,
ATCA and CompactPCI architectures
For chassis, backplanes and integrated systems, LCR Electronics is now LCR Embedded Systems.
(800) 747-5972 e-mail
VITA Technologies Fall 2014 |
Validating the
of VITA 46.11-based
system management
6-slot VITA 46.11-enabled OpenVPX chassis.
Photo courtesy of Mercury Systems, Inc.
By Mark Overgaard
VITA 46.11 was adopted by the VITA Standards Organization (VSO) as a Draft Standard for Trial Use in November 2013.
VITA 46.11 aims to enable the creation and integration of standardized, independently implemented, chassis and ­plug-in
module system management components, reducing integration time and cost, as well as time to theatre. The
article “System management on VPX: Leveraging VITA 46.11 for VPX plug-in modules,” in the Spring 2014 issue of
VITA Technologies introduced the standard, with an emphasis on its plug-in module level.
A key premise of the VITA 46.11 initiative and an important basis for high
expectations on its benefits is that independently implemented management
components, such as Intelligent Platform
Management Controllers (IPMCs) on
plug-in modules and Chassis Managers
can successfully interoperate. The
VITA 46.11 working group has realized
that this premise requires not only careful
attention to the content of the standard,
but complementary live interoperability
testing as well. Consequently, the group
has organized the first VPX System
Management Interoperability Workshop (VSM-IW) to perform such testing.
This first VSM-IW is scheduled in early
September 2014, and will be hosted by
the current VITA 46.11 working group
chair, Mercury Systems.
This article discusses the approach to
interoperability testing that will be used
in these VSM-IWs, including how that
approach leverages corresponding work
by PICMG for ATCA.
16 | VITA Technologies Fall 2014 How is the VSO taking advantage
of PICMG’s interoperability testing
The VSO made a conscious choice to base
VITA 46.11 on the corresponding management layer of PICMG’s AdvancedTCA
(ATCA) architecture, rather than start
from scratch. This choice accelerated
development of the standard and
will hasten availability and maturity of
VITA 46.11-compliant products.
This choice is also benefiting the
VITA 46.11 interoperability initiative.
PICMG has held dozens of interoperability testing events (now called TCA-IWs,
or Telecom Computing Architecture
Interoperability Workshops) dating back
to 2002. Continuing its strong cooperation in this area, PICMG has authorized
the VSO to use the relevant subset of
the test plans from those events as a
basis for VSM-IW testing. PICMG uses
over 30 of these plans, each developed
by IW participants, then reviewed and
iterated with other participants.
Each test plan focuses on a functional
area where interoperability testing is
important. The VITA 46.11 working
group has picked a subset of the PICMG
plans for review and adaptation, as necessary, to the VPX context. The group
has also defined a further set of test
areas that are specific to VITA 46.11
and is developing test plans for each of
those areas as well.
PICMG has also passed on to the VSO
the organizational tools that it has developed over its decade-plus of TCA-IWs.
Several of the active VITA 46.11 working
group members, including Pigeon Point
Systems, participated in most or all of
the PICMG TCA-IWs, and are contributing that overall experience as well.
What are the critical inter­oper­
ability interfaces for VITA 46.11?
Figure 1 shows the management stack
defined by VITA 46.11, starting at the
bottom with the IPMC on each compliant plug-in module. Next up is the
Chassis Manager, which monitors and
supervises the IPMCs in a chassis and
represents the chassis to a logical
System Manager. The Chassis Manager
may be implemented on a redundant
basis, but even in that case, would
still implement a single logical Chassis
Manager function.
Interoperability across the Chassis
Manager-to-IPMC interface (System
IPMB in the figure) facilitates combining
plug-in modules from multiple vendors,
each of which can potentially make different implementation choices for their
IPMCs. Some IPMCs in a given chassis
may be adapted from generic commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) cores, as
recommended in the earlier article referenced above. Other plug-in modules
may integrate IPMCs implemented from
scratch by their respective vendors.
Interoperability across the System
Manager Interface allows potentially
large investments in upper level management applications (all encompassed
within the logical System Manager) to
be applied across multiple independent Chassis Manager implementations.
VITA 46.11 does not attempt to define
the functionality of the System Manager,
only the minimum characteristics of its
interface to the Chassis Manager.
The lead-in photo for this article
shows an example VITA 46.11-enabled
OpenVPX chassis with modules that
would be suitable for use in a VSM-IW.
The Chassis Manager Ethernet interfaces on the front of the chassis could be
used as the System Manager interface.
How will VITA 46.11
interoperability be tested in
Interested vendors with VITA 46.11
products will bring equipment for
testing at each VSM-IW. For the Chassis
Manager to IPMC (or System IPMB)
interface, the basic idea is to allocate a
test session for each important [Chassis
Manager + IPMC] pair where that pair
is exercised according to the applicable
test plans. This typically means a session
for each [VITA 46.11 chassis provider
+ VITA 46.11 plug-in module provider]
pair. Each chassis and plug-in module
Figure 1 | VITA 46.11 system
management stack, highlighting
critical interoperability interfaces
between: a) System Manager
and Chassis Manager; b) Chassis
Manager and IPMCs.
supplier may have multiple chassis or
plug-in modules, possibly with some
variations in their VITA 46.11 implementations. The idea for each of these sessions is to use the test plans to check
interoperability of that set of chassis and
plug-in modules. The overall VSM-IW
is a series of test blocks, perhaps two
or three hours each, with parallel test
­sessions in each test block and a goal
to have at least one session for each
pair of participating chassis and module
­vendors by the end of the event.
Participant companies use the groupdeveloped test plans during these sessions in whatever way they wish. Ideally,
they will have automated test scripts
that make the testing quick and reproducible. Any such test automation is
developed by each participating company for its own use.
VITA Technologies Fall 2014 |
In the PICMG TCA-IWs, there are mutually agreed ground rules, including
that testing results are confidential to
the vendor of a component under test
and are not to be used for competitive purposes. Comparable rules have
been adopted for VSM-IWs so that
potential participants can be confident
that their participation is a constructive
How does the tiered
architecture of VITA 46.11 affect
interoperability testing?
VITA 46.11 defines two tiers of functionality for the Chassis Manager and
IPMC components. Tier 1 components
have minimal facilities, which can be
simpler and less expensive to implement. Tier 2 components deliver more
functionality in the management layer,
allowing greater reuse of those facilities across applications. Each component asserts compliance with one
of those tiers. Figure 2 shows the tier
Of these two specifications, HPM.1 is
the most crucial for a VITA 46.11 IPMC,
since an IPMC is virtually certain to need
firmware upgrade(s) across a potentially long lifetime. HPM.1 is the only
vendor-independent firmware upgrade
architecture available for management
frameworks based on the Intelligent
Platform Management Interface (IPMI).
Both VITA 46.11 and ATCA management
are based on IPMI.
The VSO may eventually do an explicit
adaptation of HPM.1 and HPM.2 PICMG
specifications to the VITA 46.11 context,
but they can benefit VITA 46.11 users
immediately, especially HPM.1.
Figure 3 shows the HPM.1 architecture for a VITA 46.11 context. HPM.1
defines a fairly sophisticated firmware
upgrade facility. Firmware upgrade
images and IPMCs are identified and
Figure 2 | HPM.1 architecture for
VITA 46.11.
matched by the upgrade agent to be
sure that only compatible firmware is
loaded on an IPMC (see the IPMC types
A and B in Figure 3). IPMCs can have
multiple upgradeable elements, such
as microcontroller (µC) firmware and a
supporting Programmable Logic Device
(PLD). Type A IPMCs in the figure have
just the first element class, while type B
IPMCs have both.
VITA 46.11 requires that tier 2 Chassis
Managers work with a chassis that contains either tier of IPMCs, including a
mixture of both tiers. Tier 1 Chassis
Managers are required to work only
with tier 1 IPMCs. Other combinations
are optionally supported. Given these
requirements, the VSM-IW test sessions
and test plans need to consider the tier
level of components under test and any
test automation should be designed
to support at least the mandatory tier
How do other PICMG
management layer specs affect
VITA 46.11 interoperability?
Because of the strong affinity between
ATCA management and VITA 46.11,
there are two other specifications in the
PICMG Hardware Platform Management
(HPM) series that can be applied, essentially as-is, in the VITA 46.11 context.
HPM.1 and HPM.2 define implementation-independent frameworks that
enable: 1) upgrading firmware on management controllers, especially IPMCs
and 2) connecting IPMCs to an insidethe-box Ethernet to supplement communication on the much slower (System)
18 | VITA Technologies Fall 2014 ›
Figure 3 | The VITA 46.11 architecture defines functionality tiers for both Chassis
Managers and IPMCs to make it easier to adapt the management layer for differing
application needs, while preserving predictable interoperability.
As Figure 3 shows, there are two ways
to transfer upgrade images to an IPMC.
In the first way, the upgrade agent
establishes a Remote Management
Control Protocol (RMCP) session with
the Chassis Manager, which proxies that
session to the IPMC being upgraded
via System IPMB. RMCP is a UDP-based
protocol defined by IPMI. It is important to demonstrate interoperability for
this upgrade method, so that a single
upgrade agent can successfully upgrade
firmware for multiple types of IPMCs in
a single chassis or group of chassis that
make up a system.
Pigeon Point Systems’ Chassis Manager and IPMC solutions are both examples of
COTS management components for VITA 46.11 that meet the above criteria.
Mark Overgaard is the Founder and CTO of Pigeon Point
Systems. He is a leader in the VITA 46.11 working group
and actively contributed to the development of VITA 46.11.
Within PICMG, he chairs the HPM.x subcommittee and
participates in numerous others. Readers may reach him at
Pigeon Point Systems
760-757-2304 •
In the second upgrade approach, an
upgrade agent could run on a main
payload CPU (perhaps a Xeon or a
PowerPC) and communicate with the
IPMC over what VITA 46.11 calls the
payload interface between them. This
approach is much more likely to be
vendor-specific, since it depends on the
implementation details of the payload
CPU and its operating system, as well
as the payload interface. Therefore, this
path is much less important for interoperability testing.
How can VPX vendors and
users help to ensure VITA 46.11
VPX users who need VITA 46.11 support
in their platforms should insist on system
elements (including chassis and plug-in
modules) with a demonstrated interoperability record, developed by vendors
with a commitment to interoperability.
VPX vendors who incorporate VITA 46.11
support into their chassis and/or plug-in
modules can maximize interoperability
for their products by:
• Basing their management layer on
COTS components, adapted to their
specific needs, since they are likely
to have a better interoperability
• Choosing COTS management
component vendor(s) who are
participating in the VITA 46.11
VSM-IW initiative and whose
components have already benefited
from thorough interoperability
testing and field validation in the
ATCA context.
Reliable. Rugged.
Has to Work.
Elma’s VPX Platforms
Are All That - And More.
OpenVPX is a highly complex architecture that is well
tuned for critical computing systems. No one knows
VPX better than Elma – our signal integrity work,
packaging, thermal and I/O interface expertise, plus
years of expert embedded subsystem designs gives
our customers a serious advantage. We are an
extension of your team -- we fill in where
you need us most, and we’re there
every step of the way.
VITA Technologies Fall 2014 |
Chassis management for VPX systems
Elma VITA 46.11 chassis manager and
carrier card for VPX shelf manager.
By Gary Hanson
Systems built to VITA standards, such as VME, have not traditionally needed the high reliability of many of the telco systems,
and have relied upon front panel LEDs to indicate fan failure, voltage monitoring, and thermal issues with the boards and chassis.
While VME has long been the preferred architecture of the military and aerospace industry, as higher speeds and increased
reliability became more critical to system operation, it was apparent that these older architectures just wouldn’t cut it. VPX, or
VITA 46.0, was VITA’s answer to implement modern high-speed interconnects, real-time monitoring, and remote mitigation of
certain system parameters in harsh environmental applications.
However, due to the large number of possible configurations,
the interoperability of these VPX-based systems was questionable. VITA introduced OpenVPX, which addressed many of the
interoperability and configuration concerns.
The next iteration was VITA 46.11 “System Management on
VPX” specification, released in November 2013 as a draft standard for trial use. VITA 46.11 leverages the shelf management
functionality that has been used for years in the telco industry
to add reliability and robustness to typical VPX applications.
systems was to monitor the backplane voltages, and sometimes
the fan speed (or a fan fail signal) or the chassis temperature.
Without elaborate middleware there was no central location
where a developer could consistently monitor critical parameters, such as board temperature and health, backplane voltages, chassis temperature, or fan speed.
The new VPX chassis manager enables remote access to any
board and chassis that supports VITA 46.11. Since the VPX shelf
manager is based on PICMG’s ATCA version of shelf management, a brief overview will provide some needed background.
Chassis management
VITA 46.11 brings a new level of chassis management to VPX as
an advanced monitoring tool versus using LEDs as indicators of
problems. Prior to this specification, the various VITA systems
had very limited management or monitoring capabilities unless
custom software was written to interface with the boards. For
example, the only real monitoring in VME systems was from the
utility bus signals:
CompactPCI shelf manager
IPMI, or intelligent platform management interface, is a standardized computer system interface or protocol that communicates across an I2C bus connected to each board, the shelf
manager, and any other intelligent FRUs (field replaceable
units). CompactPCI provided for one IPMB (intelligent platform
management bus) for communication.
System Clock (SYSCLOCK)
System Reset (SYSRESET*)
System Failure (SYSFAIL*)
Serial Bus A (SERA)
Serial Bus B (SERB)
While there are various timing requirements for these signals that make sure the boards come up when all the boards
are ready, the only real oversight traditionally done on these
20 | VITA Technologies Fall 2014 PICMG started using shelf management in the 2000s, when
the PICMG 2.9 CompactPCI Shelf Management specification
was released. At this point, the shelf management primarily
consisted of maintaining an inventory, logging events, and
monitoring sensors. For CompactPCI, there are only 18 IPMI
commands that need to be supported.
ATCA shelf manager
The shelf management function was expanded with the ATCA
(PICMG 3.0) specification, providing extensive management
capabilities. These include low-level hardware management
service, high-speed management services based on TCP/IP
protocol, and in-band application management. Because it
was geared towards the telecommunications industry, ATCA
was designed for redundancy using two IPMBs, which could be
bussed or radial.
While low-level management consists mainly of monitoring
power, cooling, and interconnect resources, the ATCA shelf
manager watches over the basic health of the system, reports
anomalies, and takes corrective action when necessary. It monitors, controls, and ensures the proper operations of the ATCA
boards and any other chassis components. The shelf manager
can also retrieve inventory information as well as receive event
reports and failure notifications. If necessary, it can perform basic
recovery operations including resetting or power-cycling boards.
VITA 46.11 (VPX shelf management)
By leveraging the inherent capabilities of the PICMG ATCA
shelf manager, VITA is reducing a great amount of the preliminary development work for the implementation of the
VITA 46.11 chassis manager.
One of the major differences between the PICMG 3.0 shelf manager and the VITA 46.11 chassis manager is that PICMG 3.0
requires all boards to have IPMCs (IPMI controllers), however,
IPMCs are optional for VITA 46.11 boards.
The standard VPX system does not require system management
to function and hot swapping is not required, which precludes
the ability of the VPX chassis manager from providing power
management. Since the chassis manager does not provide
power management and not all boards will have IPMCs, electronic keying (E-Keying) cannot be used for the VPX systems.
However, the VITA 46.11 specification does state that there
may be some level of E-Keying in the future, and the existing
VPX specification does provide for physical keying to prevent
plugging incompatible boards into the wrong backplane slot.
The primary functions of the VITA 46.11 chassis manager are:
inventory management; sensor management; system configuration; recovery; and diagnostic management. The three
VITA 46.11 chassis manager layers are: IPMC; chassis manager;
and system manager. These management layers are hierarchical
in nature, where the IPMC (board level management) communicates with the ChMC (chassis manager), which, in turn, reports
to the system manager. The system management layer monitors multiple chassis.
Figure 1 | The IPMC monitors several parameters
simultaneously for better system management.
Figure 1 shows a block diagram of an IPMC where the Freescale
processor has connections to the IPMB and the payload
through both I2C and analog I/O, providing information on
most of the sensors. This IPMC also has links to the DC/DC
input power enabling power management to the hot swap
controller, allowing for hot swapability as well as links to LEDs
on the front panel. The IPMC shown will support cPCI, ATCA,
AXIe, and VITA 46.11 applications.
Chassis management controller (ChMC)
Next up is the chassis management controller (ChMC), which
could be implemented in several ways. It could be implemented on one of the front-loading VPX plug-in modules, as a
mezzanine board that plugs onto the backplane, or as a standalone board.
The lead image of this article shows a VITA 46.11 chassis manager next to a 3U x 160 mm carrier card. In this implementation, the chassis manager could be mounted to the carrier card
allowing for a pluggable interface.
IPMC (IPMI controller)
The advantages of any VPX chassis management controller are
The lower logical layer of management would be the IPMCs,
which are required on all intelligent FRUs, such as front loading
VPX plug-in modules, fan trays, power supplies, etc. An IPMI
controller for boards or intelligent FRUs is used to monitor:
health of the board or FRU; voltages; temperature; device ID;
serial numbers; part numbers; and software versions. The SDR
repository will provide a full list of all the sensors on a particular
board or FRU.
›› Redundancy. While not a requirement for a VPX chassis
manager, this would make the system more robust.
›› Simplified power management. VITA 46.11
does not require E-Keying or power management,
but they may be useful in the future. And since ATCA
requires them, most VPX chassis managers will already
support this.
VITA Technologies Fall 2014 |
›› Cooling control. Although several methods could be used, a typical method
is to monitor board and chassis temperatures, then adjust the fan speed to
maintain the predetermined range.
›› Inventory management. The chassis manager maintains a full list of all
intelligent FRUs and boards as well as any other components that support
VITA 46.11 (mandatory support of VITA 46.11 in VPX boards is not yet a
›› Sensor management. A list of all sensors connected to each intelligent FRU
in the system, along with any threshold or limits, is maintained via the chassis
›› Sensor event log. Although the actual log size will vary among chassis
managers, it provides a history of all events such as an over temperature
condition or an under voltage condition and typically will begin overwriting
when the log is full, starting with the oldest event.
You need it right. You want
›› Diagnostics and recovery. The
specific VPX boards in a system, and
their compatibility with VITA 46.11,
will determine the level at which the
chassis manager can diagnose and
respond to system events.
System manager
At the top of the logical management
layer is the system manager, which oversees multiple chassis and will communicate with multiple chassis managers. The
system manager can be middleware, a
SNMP MIB browser, custom software,
RMCP, or something as simple as the
ability to Telnet into a system.
The system manager is how the outside world communicates to the VITA
systems via the chassis manager. Since
the chassis manager supports several external interfaces via RS232 and
Ethernet interfaces, many also have
a built-in GUI that could be used for a
lower level of system management.
The system manager provides the
ability for users to remotely access the
VITA 46.11 chassis to manage board
inventory, and monitor the health of the
boards as well as the health of the chassis
and all manageable FRUs in the system.
Ready for your Mission
Critical VPX Application
VPX Development Systems, VPX,
VPX-REDI and OpenVPX Compliant
Backplanes, VPX Extender Boards, VPX
We are
dedicated to
maximizing customer
Power Supplies, Conduction Cooled
Enclosures, Accessories and
Customized Solutions.
Dawn's VPX
satisfaction through on-time
delivery of
product line features
highly configurable
backplanes and
powered enclosures, multi-function
Rugged, Reliable
and Ready.
(510) 657-4444
22 | VITA Technologies Fall 2014 accessories, sub-racks, card cages,
test boards, panels and system
health monitors.
While a VITA 46.11 chassis will typically
have intelligent FRUs, such as fans and
power supplies, the challenge for board
manufacturers is to implement IPMCs on
their boards, allowing for remote monitoring. This will further enable boards
and IPMCs that support VITA 46.11 to be
easily inventoried and that are monitored
for health and, in some cases, the boards
may be remotely reset, if necessary.
Advanced system management
As more intelligent monitoring functions
are implemented into VPX applications,
existing shelf management capabilities
will continue to increase the effectiveness,
value, and reliability of these embedded
systems well into the future.
Gary Hanson is a Sr. Systems Engineer
for Elma Electronic.
Elma Electronic
510-656-3400 •
Complete data acquisition, signal processing, and storage solution
The race to improve signal processing performance and capture density is never over.
4DSP’s FM788 XMC is designed to deliver performance for beamforming, direction finding,
RADAR, and satellite communications. Based on Xilinx’s Virtex-7 and featuring eight 16-bit
A/D channels running up to 250 Msps each, its design provides the largest channel count
in this frequency range and the most onboard memory for real-time buffering of large data
vectors. With four 10 Gbps optical transceivers, the FM788 can be directly connected to a
remote storage system without any CPU involvement.
“This approach of offering a way to digitize multiple analog channels, perform signal processing using the Virtex-7, and offload data to
a storage system using optical connections on a single card overcomes the inherent limitations of bussed architectures,” said 4DSP CTO
Pierrick Vulliez. “The FM788 provides predictable performance in a small form factor and reduces overall system power consumption.”
4DSP LLC | |
Custom designs made easy
Engineers are always looking for an edge during product design. Backplane configurations
resulting in unused pins add unnecessary size and cost. Balancing performance and cost is key to
successful backplane design. A new Molex online configurator tool provides that edge by quickly
generating pin maps based on backplane application. The Backplane Pin Map Configurator guides
users through a series of inputs to identify backplane parameters and quickly generate a pin map
for their backplane application.
The configurator presents module options based on the slot pitch and overall lengths. Each module
selection offers a pin map configuration showing recommended pin placement. The completed
pin map can be downloaded in a spreadsheet format to be saved, reviewed, and shared to further
accelerate the design process.
Molex | |
Monitoring your system’s health
Complex computer systems require monitoring to be sure that all system components are
operating correctly and at their optimum performance. HMC-A System Health Monitors from
Orbit Electronics Group are among the most advanced such components available today.
They are available in three models and a total of four form factors: Stand-Off Mounted (HMC-A,
HMC-B, and HMC-C); VPX 6U (HMC-A, and -B); and VME 6U (HMC-A and -B). Key features
include a unique proprietary GUI; Ethernet; USB and/or RS 232 interfaces; set-up; data logging;
field upgradable firmware; and data password protection. They comply with ANSI/VITA 1.0 –
The System Health Monitors provide dramatically expanded graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that enable system design engineers to
quickly and easily establish a broad range of operating parameters, and monitor performance with exceptional clarity and detail.
Orbit Electronics Group | |
New era of ARM processor-based computing for defense & aerospace
ARM processors have slowly been making inroads into traditional single board computer
(SBC) commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) markets, especially in applications where low power
consumption is critical. A new family of rugged VPX SBCs from Curtiss-Wright brings the new
era of ARM processor-based computing to the Defense & Aerospace market. The VPX3-1701
is a 3U VPX SBC based on dual 1 GHz ARM processors. This cost-effective, low-power small
form factor SBC is rated at less than 15 W maximum power dissipation. Curtiss-Wright’s
ARM-based SBCs are the industry’s first VPX architecture processing modules to harness the
affordability and low power advantages of the ARM architecture. They provide unmatched performance-per-Watt without compromising
full-featured connectivity and I/O options.
Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions | |
VITA Technologies Fall 2014 |
Got Tough Software Radio Design Challenges?
Unleash The New Virtex-7 Onyx Boards!
Pentek’s Onyx® Virtex-7 FPGA boards deliver unprecedented levels of performance in wideband communications,
SIGINT, radar and beamforming. These high-speed,
multichannel modules include:
• A/D sampling rates from 10 MHz to 3.6 GHz
• D/A sampling rates up to 1.25 GHz
• Multi-bandwidth DUCs & DDCs
• Gen3 PCIe with peak speeds to 8 GB/sec
• 4 GB SDRAM for capture & delay
• Intelligent chaining DMA engines
• Multichannel,
multiboard synchronization
• ReadyFlow
Support Libraries
Kit & Installed IP
• GateFlow FPGA
• GateXpress FPGA - PCIe configuration manager
• OpenVPX, AMC, XMC, PCIe, cPCI, rugged,
conduction cooled
• Pre-configured development system for PCIe
• Complete documentation & lifetime support
With more than twice the resources of previous Virtex
generations plus advanced power reduction techniques,
the Virtex-7 family delivers the industry’s most advanced
FPGA technology.
Call 201-818-5900 or go to
for your FREE online Putting
FPGAs to Work in Software
Radio Handbook and Onyx
product catalog.
Pentek, Inc., One Park Way, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 • Phone: 201.818.5900 • Fax: 201.818.5904 • •
Worldwide Distribution & Support, Copyright © 2013 Pentek, Inc. Pentek, Onyx, ReadyFlow, GateFlow & GateXpress are trademarks of Pentek, Inc. Other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.